• Anyone with a little bit of passion has the ability to grow into a large, successful real estate team.
  • Personality assessments are the key to making sure that employees and staff have the right position, and that is how a business becomes successful.
  • Small-business owners shouldn't be responsible for operational tasks. Their job is to generate business growth.

Josh Mente closed 70 transactions in his first year, an impressive number even by big, successful real estate agent standards.

Eight years in, he handled over 300 transactions in 2016, with 10 agents and eight support staff members. Half of that support staff is local, while half is outsourced from overseas.

How did Mente, now the founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, get there?

Tailored roles

A big part of Mente’s business is defining who the right employee or salesperson is for each particular client. For example, he would pair an investor client with an agent who specializes in investment deals. A first-time homebuyer gets connected with a first-time homebuyer specialist.  

Mente is able to do this by using personality assessments so he can determine which speciality works for each employee.

Here, one key topic that Jason Balin of Hard Money Bankers discusses with Mente is how little transactional work Mente does on a daily basis, meaning he doesn’t take on any listings or show buyers around.

In the course of the interview, they come to the conclusion that it would be somewhat irresponsible of him to work with individual clients because his job is to grow the business, set up systems and make sure the business runs smoothly.

If the business fails to grow, his staff members aren’t able to make money, and then they will all be out of business.

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Mente’s strengths are dealing with high-level requirements, growing them and putting systems in place. Additionally, he enjoys managing employees and helping them get better.

From technician to manager to visionary

In this interview, Balin and Mente reference The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber. They talk about the technician, the manager and the visionary.

In business, someone usually starts out as the technician — these people are good at their trade; they become the best at their trade. Then, they work their way up to the manager, who manages people and helps them become good at their trade.

Finally, they become the visionary and do a lot of growth activities and hire level things to help the business grow.

Hiring the best

Mente will be the first to say that every agent in his office is better as a real estate agent than he is.

That’s important. If a business owner or visionary hires someone for a position, it should be someone who is better at that position than he or she is.

Chris Haddon is an entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C., a partner at Hard Money Bankers and a co-founder of REI360.net.

Email Chris Haddon

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